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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

Community Adult Learning Centers
Fund Code: 340/345/359

Purpose: The purpose of this grant program is to establish free access for eligible undereducated and limited English proficient adults, age 16 and older, to highly effective adult basic education 1 services in the City of Springfield, Massachusetts. The purpose of the services is to assist adult students to achieve their educational and career goals as family members, workers, and community members, and prepare them to successfully take their next steps toward those goals, in college and further training, at work and in the community.
Priorities: The priority is to support programs and/or collaborations that:
  1. provide adult basic education and English for Speakers of Other Languages services to respond to needs identified in Census data; 2
  2. provide eligible adult participants with a continuum of high quality instructional and support services below the postsecondary level, from basic literacy or beginning English language proficiency through the skill level expected of a high school graduate;
  3. provide a highly qualified staff who (a) have mastery of the content they teach, (b) are prepared to employ effective teaching methods based on research and evidence-based practice, and (c) are prepared to implement a curriculum aligned with the standards and benchmarks in the Massachusetts Adult Basic Education Curriculum Frameworks;
  4. provide services of sufficient intensity and duration to effectively assist adults to develop the academic and other college and career-readiness skills needed to successfully transition to post-secondary education or training and stable employment that provides a family-sustaining wage;
  5. provide instructional, advising, and other support services based on students' needs and strengths with regard to college and career readiness;
  6. assist adults who are parents to obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children;
  7. serve adults most in need of literacy and English communication skills;
  8. provide services to meet the educational needs of homeless adults;
  9. engage in formal partnerships with workforce development entities and other stakeholders, including community colleges and ESE-funded ABE Transition to Community College programs, to prepare students for and facilitate their seamless transition to a variety of next steps; and
  10. demonstrate a firm commitment to the continuous improvement of programs and staff.
Eligibility:Eligible applicants are public and private non-profit entities of demonstrated effectiveness that include local educational agencies, community-based organizations, volunteer literacy organizations, institutions of higher learning, public or private non-profit agencies, libraries, public housing authorities, other non-profit institutions that have the ability to provide literacy services to adults and families, and consortia of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, and authorities described above.
Funding: Funds are available for applicants in the Hampden region proposing services in the City of Springfield for Fund Code 340/345/359. Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) will support up to two programs in Springfield. Funding includes a period of up to 12 weeks for program start-up activities from the point of award.

All allocations are subject to state and federal appropriations.
Community Adult Learning Center Regions (Federal and State)Total allocation
Hampden : Springfield$593,972.00
Fund Use: Funds may be used to establish or operate programs that provide adult basic education instruction and other services in one or more of the following categories (all services must be designed in accordance with the FY 2013 Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Adult Basic Education):
  • Adult education and literacy services, including Adult Basic Education/literacy, pre-adult secondary education, and adult secondary education including preparation for the GED and/or an adult diploma;
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services, including pre-literacy ESOL; and/or
  • Family literacy services.
Eligible students are individuals who have attained 16 years of age, and are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law, and who:
  • lack sufficient mastery of basic educational skills to enable the individuals to function effectively in society;
  • do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and have not achieved an equivalent level of education; or
  • are unable to speak, read, or write the English language.
The Department requires its ABE grant recipients to immediately enroll any student in good standing who seeks to transfer from another Community Adult Learning Center program, or to place this student at the top of the appropriate waiting list. Students displaced from the closing of Department-funded Community Adult Learning Center programs located in Springfield must be given priority access to newly funded programs.

Grantees must offer adult students access to instructional services from basic literacy or beginning English language proficiency through secondary level academic skills, either independently or through formal partnerships, documented with Memoranda of Agreement, with other recipients of ESE adult basic education grants. Stand-alone classes outside the context of a continuum of services are not an allowable fund use.

Community Adult Learning Center grant awards are determined by the Massachusetts ABE Rates System. Each grant award is determined by an approved set of services, based on a pre-determined cost per student instructional hour, supplemented by foundation and flexible funding, and incorporates the range of costs considered essential for effective adult basic education (e.g., academic and career advising, teacher classroom preparation time, instructional materials, program and staff development, administration). For additional information regarding ESE rate-based, foundation, and flexible funding, see the FY 2013 Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Adult Basic Education. For guidance regarding the specific program costs incorporated into each grant award, see itemization of Rate-Based Funding and Foundation Funding in the SMARTT Program Plan Reference Materials.

Not less than 75% of funds must be spent on adult basic education direct services; not more than 25% may be spent on administrative costs, including indirect costs.

Agencies with an approved federal indirect cost rate shall not receive more than an 8% indirect rate for adult education programs. Agencies with an ESE-approved indirect cost rate shall not receive more than a 5% indirect rate for adult education programs. The total of direct and indirect costs may not exceed the total grant award. In lieu of charging for indirect costs, grantees that provide an appropriate and detailed allocation of agency-wide costs to their grant programs may receive ESE approval to include them as direct costs.

Applicants for Community Adult Learning Center grants are eligible to apply for supplementary funding in one or more of the following areas: volunteer tutoring; student leadership; and/or funding to partially offset costs related to space, childcare, student transportation, and/or additional travel required of rural staff. Allowable fund use for each funding opportunity follows.

Volunteer Tutoring Component: Funds may be used to support personnel costs for a Volunteer Coordinator according to the following guidelines. Applicants proposing a volunteer tutoring component for a single-site Community Adult Learning Center may propose a minimum of a 0.25 FTE volunteer coordinator to maintain a minimum active caseload of 12 volunteers and 20 tutor-student matches, or a 0.5 FTE volunteer coordinator to maintain a minimum active case load of 24 volunteers and 35 tutor-student matches. Applicants proposing a volunteer tutoring component in collaboration with one or more additional Department-funded programs or at multiple sites may propose a 0.75 volunteer coordinator to maintain a minimum active caseload of 36 volunteers and 50 tutor-student matches, or a 1.0 FTE volunteer coordinator to maintain a minimum active caseload of 48 volunteers and 65 tutor-student matches. The required minimum level of active tutors and matches must be consistently maintained at all times. The volunteer tutors may support the instruction provided by paid staff in any component of the Community Adult Learning Center or other ESE-funded ABE program with whom the applicant proposes to share a volunteer coordinator through a collaborative arrangement documented with a Memorandum of Agreement. A portion of the funds may be used to support non-personnel related costs. The Volunteer Coordinator position is subject to the minimum compensation for Professional (P) staff as outlined in the FY 2013 Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Adult Basic Education.

Student Leadership Development: The purpose of Student Leadership Development supplemental funding is to support adult students to participate in program development and/or community service projects through the provision of training, support, and guidance. Programs are encouraged to develop and support student leadership through the creation of teams and significant activities, to provide participants with training in leadership and other skills they need to fulfill their project, and to compensate them for their time working on the project. Funds may be used for personnel and non-personnel costs, including student stipends, to support projects and/or activities that create opportunities for student leadership development, including but not limited to, the following areas: program planning, evaluation, and governance; curriculum development; mentoring; program outreach and public relations; and community service projects. Student Leadership Team members must be actively enrolled in a Community Adult Learning Center class.

Space: The Department will support up to 50% of the cost of the space used for ESE Community Adult Learning Center grant activities. Cost must be proportionate to the Department-funded grant program's usage of the space. The proportion charged to the grant must be fully documented.

Childcare: Funds may be used for a portion of personnel and/or non-personnel costs related to the provision of safe and suitable child care during hours when parents are in class. Documentation regarding the use of child care funds is required. Direct cash payments to students are not an allowable expenditure.

Student Transportation: Funds may cover a portion of student transportation to and from the instructional services. Allowable costs include vehicle insurance; public transportation; modest lease/purchase costs on vans/mini-bus; and/or personnel costs for a driver. Documentation regarding the use of transportation funds is required. Direct cash payments to students are not an allowable expenditure.

Staff Travel: Programs with multiple sites serving rural communities may apply for funds (above the allocation in the ABE Rates) to cover additional costs related to staff travel to required meetings, such as mileage reimbursement and tolls. Documentation regarding the use of staff travel funds is required. A community is designated as rural if the community resides in a county with a population density of less than 750 people per square mile AND the community has a population density of less than 750 people per square mile. Note: Only applicants serving rural communities are eligible to apply for the staff travel funds.
Project Duration: Upon approval through 6/30/2014 state-funded - Fund Code: 345; conditionally renewable for up to an additional four (4) years.

Upon approval through 8/31/2014 (Federally-funded - Fund Codes: 340, 359); conditionally renewable for up to an additional four (4) years.

Grant awards for Community Adult Learning Centers are renewable for the duration of a maximum of four (4) years, subject to satisfactory performance, the appropriation of state and federal funds, and the continuance of federal authorizing legislation. Should the Workforce Investment Act be reauthorized during the performance period, a new competition would be issued.
Program Unit: Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)
Contact: All inquiries must be submitted in writing to ABERFP@doe.mass.edu; all answers will be posted to the Adult and Community Services webpage.
Phone Number: Telephone inquiries for assistance using the RFP mailbox and/or the ACLS webpage may be directed to the ACLS receptionist at (781) 338-3850.
Bidders' Conference and Applicant Training: A bidders' conference is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at the Regional Employment Board Center at 1441 Main St., Springfield. The Community Adult Learning Center session is scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and is followed by a session on the Adult Career Pathways grant program from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A SMARTT Refresher training is available at 12:30 p.m. on the same day and at the same location as the bidder's conference.
Date Due: Friday, May 17, 2013
Proposals must be delivered to the Department by 1:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
  1. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  2. Download MS EXCEL file  Part II Budget Detail Pages (Include both pages.) - Instructions
  3. Budget Narrative (designed by applicant; see instructions in Part III, Section VIII)
  4. Match Narrative (designed by applicant; see instructions in Part III, Section VIII)
  5. Download MS EXCEL document  Schedule B - Cost Sharing or Matching Schedule
  6. Download PDF document Download MS WORD Document  Part III - Required Program Information
  7. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Teaching Qualifications Form (include with job descriptions in Appendix F)
  8. View HTML Page  Hard copies of all Required Elements of SMARTT Plan (applicant must complete on-line, print, and submit in hard copy with the application package)

    The following elements of the SMARTT Program Plan are to be completed by the applicant and submitted in hard copy with the application:
    1. Class Plan (both rate-based and non-rate-based classes)
    2. Supplemental / Foundation Services
    3. Summary Sheet - Direct
    4. ESE Direct Staff Plan (Detailed Staff Plan required for the first year of a multi-year cycle)
    5. Volunteer Plan (only if applying for funding for optional Volunteer Tutoring Component)
    The following additional elements of the SMARTT Program Plan are automatically generated by SMARTT; the applicant must print them out and submit them in hard copy with the application:
    1. ESE Direct Staff Salary Analysis
    2. ESE Direct Summary Sheet
    3. ESE Direct Funding Prototype
    4. Staff Plan Summary Report
  9. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  FY 2013 Statement of Assurances for Adult Basic Education Instructional Grants
  10. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Distance Learning Participation Preferences Form (required)
  11. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  STAR Participation Preferences Form (required of all applicants with a GLE 4.0-8.9 class)
  12. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  One-Stop Career Center Outstationing Interest Form (if applying)
  13. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Notice of Intent to Meet Program Design Requirements through Collaboration with One or More Other Applicants (only if proposing to meet minimum program design requirements through collaboration, not subcontract, with one or more other Community Adult Learning Center applicants)
  14. Copies of the applying agency's latest completed audit report*.
    Note: Only two copies of the audit report are required; it is not necessary to include a copy in each set of proposal documents.

    *Excepted from this requirement are state and local entities whose audits the Department accesses directly, such as state colleges, community colleges, and universities, state and county correctional facilities, local public educational authorities, and city- or town-operated public libraries.
Required Appendices:Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Required Appendices A-G
  • Appendix A: Required elements of the SMARTT Plan as specified in Required Forms section.
  • Appendix B: Organizational chart as specified in RFP Part III, Section III.A
  • Appendix C: Roster of board officers and members, with any relationships to agency staff noted.
  • Appendix D: Required of new applicants and all applicants whose primary target population is comprised of homeless adults: FY2007-FY2011 data that verifies past performance as specified in RFP Part III, Section III.B Past Performance.
  • Appendix E: Required of new applicants and all applicants whose primary target population is homeless adults: Narrative description of assessment tools, data and accountability systems as specified in RFP Part III, Section III.B Past Performance.
  • Appendix F: Completed Teaching Qualifications Form, and current job descriptions for all key positions, including minimum required and preferred qualifications. Volunteer Tutoring Component applicants must include current job descriptions for key Volunteer Tutoring Component positions, including minimum required qualifications
  • Appendix G: Volunteer Tutoring Component applicants only:
    Memoranda of Agreement that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each partner (required only if Volunteer Coordinator will support multiple Community Adult Learning Centers)
Additional Requirements: Compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, As Amended, is a pre-requisite to receipt of a grant award.

Applicants are required to provide an auditable matching share of 20% of the total amount of the requested grant award. Currently funded grantees must provide a matching share that is not less than their FY 2012 matching share (maintenance of effort amount) or 20% of the requested amount, whichever is greater.

With the exceptions noted below, no entity may receive an award unless the entity has provided a copy of the applying agency's latest completed audit report, issued by an independent certified public accountant. If this audit report is not included, the proposal will not be considered. Excepted from this requirement are state and local entities whose audits the Department accesses directly, such as state colleges, community colleges, and universities, state and county correctional facilities, local public educational authorities, and city- or town-operated public libraries.
Additional Information:
  1. View HTML Page  Table 2: Need for Adult Basic Education and English for Speakers of Other Language by City and Town
  2. View HTML Page  Table 3: Community Adult Learning Center Performance Scores FY2007-FY2011
  3. View HTML Page  FY 2013 Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Adult Basic Education
  4. View HTML Page  Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Distance Learning in Adult Basic Education
  5. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Facing the Future: Massachusetts Strategic Framework for Adult Basic Education
  6. Massachusetts Indicators of Adult Basic Education Program Quality
  7. View HTML Page  Massachusetts ABE Curriculum Frameworks
  8. View HTML Page  ACLS assessment policies (for required assessments to report learner educational gain)
  9. View HTML Page  Strengthening Teaching and Learning: Educational Leadership and Professional Standards, July 2011 presentation 3
  10. View HTML Page  Massachusetts Professional Standards for Adult Basic Education Teachers
  11. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Massachusetts 2011 Performance Standards for Community Adult Learning Centers
  12. View HTML Page  Overview of the STudent Achievement in Reading (STAR) Project
  13. Download PDF document  Tools, Tips and Techniques: An Easy to Use Data Toolkit to Identify Community Needs and Assets
  14. View HTML Page  Adult and Community Learning Services Disability Guidelines
  15. View HTML Page  FY 2013 SMARTT Program Plan Technical Manual, FY 2013 SMARTT Program Plan Reference Materials, and SMARTT Program Plan Checklist
  16. View HTML Page  ESE Grants Management Procedural Manual
Proposal Submission Instructions: Submit seven (7) sets of the complete proposal package, each set encompassing all required documents, with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director (in blue ink) on two (2) sets.
Proposal Due: Friday, May 17, 2013 by 1:00 p.m.

Application Packages must be submitted with required elements in the following sequence:
  1. Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  2. Part II - Budget Documents:
    1. Project Expenditures Budget Detail Pages (Include both pages)
    2. Budget Narrative
    3. Match Narrative
    4. Schedule B
  3. Part III - Required Program Information
  4. Hard copies of all Required Elements of SMARTT Plan (see "Required Forms")
  5. FY 2013 Statement of Assurances for Adult Basic Education Instructional Grants
  6. Required Appendices
  7. Participation Preferences forms for Distance Learning and STAR (both required) and Interest in One-Stop Career Center Outstationing (optional)
  8. Notice of Intent to Meet Program Design Requirements through Collaboration with One or More Other Applicants (required only if proposing to meet minimum program design requirements through collaboration, not subcontract, with one or more other Community Adult Learning Center applicants)
  9. Separately (unless exempted - see "Required Forms"), submit two (2) copies of the applying agency's latest completed audit report. Only two (2) copies of the audit report are required; it is not necessary to include a copy in each set of proposal documents. Submit the two audit reports as stand-alone documents; do not attach or embed them into the RFP package.
Proposals are due on Friday, May 17, 2013 by 1:00 p.m.

Mail, overnight express, or hand-deliver the Application Package to:


Lorraine Domigan
Adult and Community Learning Services
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906
Pagination Directions Applicants are required to provide page numbers on every page of the proposal, including appendices and material not subject to the page limits.

All narrative responses must be single-spaced in Arial 10 point font, with 1" margins.

All applicants must respond to Sections I through III and VIII (Budget).

Applicants proposing to provide English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services that incorporate significant Civics Education must respond to Section IV.

Sections V, VI, and VII contain submission instructions for optional supplementary funding for which Community Adult Learning Center applicants are eligible to apply.

Narrative responses may not exceed thirty (30) pages for sections I through III, or thirty-eight (38) pages for applicants proposing to offer both ABE and ESOL and/or proposing multi-site programs and/or collaborations. Sections IV, V, VI, and VII have individual page limits as indicated in each section (see Part III Required Program Information).

Responses to Section VIII (Budget) are not included in the page limit. Likewise, required attachments and appendices do not count toward the page limit.

Note:

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Last Updated: April 1, 2013
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